Last week, I had my six-week post-partum check up. According to the doctor, everything is back to normal, and I am free to do whatever I want, wahoo. But it’ll be a little longer until I’m back to my 100%. Here’s what I’m feeling and here’s what I’ve learned these past six weeks.
First, the doctor may say everything is back to normal, back in place, but they are nowhere near back to fully functional. My core, for example, is so very weak. Just walking for awhile makes my core hurt. The same goes for my back. According to PT student Donald, the muscles in my back are extra tight because of the way my front was cut open during caesarean. I could try to explain that, but I won’t. Just know, my back is tight and my core is weak, so it’ll take lots of time and exercise to get back at it.
Second, recovering from a c-section was actually a bit easier than recovering from vaginal birth, personally. Yes, it’s a surgery, and all surgeries have extra pain from quite literally being cut into, but at least I was able to sit. Yeah, I’ll let you think about that one. Granted, moving around and getting out of bed is a lot harder after c-section. That being said, once I had my dressing removed and staples taken out after a week and a half, it actually wasn’t so bad. The weird part was all psychological. Even after the doctor said my incision was fully closed, I still had this fear it would open. I was able to move more than I did, but my mind hindered me from doing so.
Third, I am exclusively breastfeeding Theo, and I never realized how much work it is. Zeke was part breastfed, part formula fed, so not only was I not producing as much milk, Donald was able to help out a lot more by taking turns feeding him in the middle of the night. So far, it’s just been me waking up and feeding him all night and all day long. I try to pump as much as I can on the off chance I’m not with him and someone else can feed him, but honestly I get lazy and just opt for always being with him. I definitely feel a stronger bond with Theo than I did with Zeke at this point because of this. Let me tell you, though, I’m getting tired of only choosing breast-accessible clothing.
But of course I won’t let that stop me, duh.
Fourth, my mental health this time around was a lot better. With Zeke, I had post-partum depression and I remember not wanting anything to do with him, not caring if he was crying, crying for no reason myself. (I actually wrote about it here for my sister’s website). There have been some instances that I would cry and cry, but I think that came from the lack of sleep and pain from recovery. I was definitely more prepared overall for this birth, so I think my mind was better equipped to handle this transition.
When they told me that C-section was the best option, I was really scared. I had a bunch of expectations from having Zeke that were thrown out the window. Not only that, I also already had Zeke, how was adding another going to be? While it’s been different, very, very different, and quite obviously stressful sometimes, I think I’ve been doing well.